A new month brought the announcement of the NWSL Media Association's selection for the best 11 players in the league for the month of July in a 4-2-2 formation. The NWSL Team of the Month is composed of players from the NWSL who significantly contributed to their teams in the month of July. The Houston Dash, North Carolina Courage, Chicago Red Stars, Orlando Pride, Seattle Reign, and Sky Blue FC all had players selected for the Best XI for June.
Best XI By Position
Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), the rookie goalkeeper, has taken over the starting spot for the Houston-based club, a team that had a 3-0-1 record in the past four games. Much of that success was based on Campbell's strong goalkeeping. In July, Campbell made 18 crucial saves, only allowing three goals.
Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Amber Brooks (Houston Dash), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), and Taylor Smith (Courage) compose the backline of the Best XI. Short led the Red Stars defense to two shutouts that allowed only just three goals to get past them. Brooks was a key defensive player for the Dash in July with 18 tackles and 14 interceptions.
Smith and Dahlkemper were part of a North Carolina defense that only allowed two goals over three games. Dahlkemper made a team-high seven clearances in one game alone, the victory against the Reign on July 8. Smith cleared away nine with six tackles.
Andressinha (Dash), Julie Ertz (Red Stars), McCall Zerboni (Courage), and Marta (Orlando Pride) hold the midfield for the Best XI. Andressinha, the Brazilian international, helped the Dash gain a 2-1 victory over the Washington Spirit after she scored the game-winning goal on July 16. According to OptaJack, the NWSL's stat-tracker, Andressinha had 10 chances created in July.
Ertz has transitioned to a defensive midfield role for Chicago this season, which has worked for the Red Stars as they currently stand at the top of the standings. The US international had 10 tackles, 16 clearances, and nine interceptions.
Zerboni started all three games for the Courage in July. As a midfielder, Zerboni helped the Courage attack and defense. She scored one goal and helped create another. Zerboni finished July with 21 tackles and five clearances.
Marta, the Brazilian international, and one of the most prolific women soccer players, made her second Best XI selection. Marta scored two goals and provided an assist for the Pride. She led the Pride in passing with 88.6% passing accuracy on July 1st.
The two top goal scorers and MVP candidates, Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign) and Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC) lead the attack in the Best XI selection. Rapinoe scored five goals in July, including a hat-trick against Sky Blue FC on July 22. Rapinoe was also selected as July's Player of the Month. Kerr also scored a hat-trick in 12 minutes in a comeback victory against FC Kansas City, which also saw her become the league's all-time leading scorer on that night in New Jersey. The Australian international scored in every game in July, and she tallied six goals for the month.
The NWSL Team of the Month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis.
All stats are a courtesy of the NWLS's official press release.